Kyushu Pancake – Those pancakes are legit!

Kyushu Pancake Cafe

#01-08, Novena Regency, 275 Thomson Road, Novena Regency near Novena MRT

img_9349When it comes to authentic Japanese cafes, I have never been disappointed by any so far and Kyushu Pancake Cafe, hailing from Kyushu, is delightfully delectable and completely satisfying. They may not have a huge range of savoury items which are also pancake / waffle centric, the sweets though are the ones to look out for I reckon. Their forte, if their name has already not suggested, is obviously the pancakes that has the perfected texture, soft, fluffy yet contains a lower quotient of butter as compared to those from the famous Clinton Street Bakery, making it less queasy than the usual American style.

img_9334Classic Salad with Chicken – Refreshing luscious greens, made savoury with that thick sesame flavoured wafu sauce. $9.50.

img_9338Karaage Chicken waffle with Special sauce and honey – Unlike its American counterpart, the Texas Chicken Waffle, the Japanese savoury coating over this huge slab of chicken gave it a huge Asian twist and definitely didn’t clash with that slightly sweeter tasting thick solid waffle that is evidently prepared from some quality batter. $19.

img_9344img_9343Managed to convince the buddy for a Matcha Tiramisu instead of a toast as one could have imagined how perfect that combination of creamy brown sugar Mascarpone cheese would have been with those fluffy pancakes underneath. Smothered by that thick creamy layer, just like what I have hoped for, sprinkled with the matcha powder, this dessert is completed beautifully with the creamy Vanilla ice cream and Matcha sauce. Around $18.

I earnestly felt credits have to be given to them as these pancakes were not made just from any wheat flour, instead it is a combination of specially selected wheat from the different prefectures in Japan, as what is described in their website; a mix which is totally befitting as “one that brings you the natural taste, free of emulsifier, artificial fragrance, additives or processed starch”.

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Verdict: An excellent cafe. 4.3/5.

 

Clinton Street Baking Company and Restaurant – Very American, delicious pancakes!

Clinton Street Baking Company and Restaurant

31 Purvis Street near Bugis MRT

IMG_8363Finally after so long, I managed to get a table here, or rather the queue was good at least. Visited Clinton Street Baking many months ago and the moment I was told that the wait would take roughly 2 hours, we skipped and this time round, though it is still busy it was just a comfortable 10 min wait, which makes its highly raved about pancake stack even more delicious and satisfying.

IMG_8350The good thing about the wait over here is that you get to go to the nearby air conditioned National Library and once there’s a table available, you will be notified with an automatic call. Very convenient, fast and most importantly you don’t need to wait along the torrid corridors. Settled down, took a look at the big menu and not really into an eggy brunch that day, C and I both went straight for the burgers.

IMG_8347Salmon Burger – House made, with avocado, tomato, baby arugula and tartar sauce, house slaw and gherkin. Yearning for something healthier, I went straight for the salmon burger which came as a surprise as I initially thought it would be a slab of pan fried salmon in it. Fried salmon patty used instead, this was made creamier and heartier by the blob of tartar sauce on top. I like this hearty burger dish. $23.

IMG_8349Black Angus cheeseburger – Swiss and cameralised onions on a toasted French artisanal roll, with hand cut fries and slaw. Big juicy patty, slathered over with the wet caramelised onions, rounded up nicely by fluffy buns and I like how those fried chips still have the skin untouched. $23.

IMG_8348IMG_8361There we go, Pancakes with Warm Maple Butter with wild blueberries. Almost every other table ordered this fluffy pancake stacks and everyone, at least on that day, chose the blueberry topping over the walnut and chocolate options. That’s quite straightforward for us, as logically the blueberries are needed to cut through that thick doughy pancakes and sweet Maple butter; but if you like to have an even sweeter or richer rendition, then get the chocolate as your topping. $18.

Hearty, delicious and good in serving sizes, and also not forgetting the frequent refilling of your water even when the restaurant is packed, this is one of the cafes that I like!

Verdict: A good cafe. 3.8/5.

 

 

Chi Bing 치빙 – Korean Gem in Star Vista

Chi-Bing 치빙

Star Vista near Buona Vista MRT

IMG_7253What a rare post on Korean food from myself! But Chi Bing, where we had our team lunch one fine afternoon, actually blew me away quite a little. Went in without any expectations, only keeping in mind that I will see loads of red sauce and sweet tasting stir fry (e.g. bulgogi) and some overly priced bingsu, I walked out filled with utter satisfaction as everything on the menu (at least what we have ordered) tasted hearty, unpretentious and more importantly, priced very reasonably. A smiley service throughout rendered by the polite Koreans (our ajuma cooking for us in the picture above) and with the familiar DOTS soundtrack playing in the background, our experience was further accentuated by the Korean crowd around us! A testament indeed to its authenticity.

Chi BingMango Smoothie 망고 스무디 and Green tea mint Choco frappe 민트초코 프라페 – I think what makes them really appealing, is the Korean worded label that the cup is wrapped in. Small gimmick, but would definitely catch the attention of some! Tasting more like chocolate mint ice cream, the green tea flavour has to be stronger as it could easily be overwhelmed by the mint. $6.70 each.

IMG_7236The free flow of pan chan that you could get from the counter.

IMG_7247IMG_7249IMG_7254Did a little bit of mathematics and realised that the set would be much more worthy than the ala carte as each set includes one main stir fry (2-3 pax) together with a complementary choice of topping, steamed egg and a bing su. Set B 치빙세트 B we got, that is the seafood stir fry which was filled with loads of small octopus, mussels, some chicken, prawns and the chewy toppoki. Evenly coated in the thick chilli sauce, every element in this platter was heavy tasting; definitely a hearty mix for the Koreans and I reckon it is better than Yoogane which has created a big buzz when it was first launched. $41.90.

IMG_7257An extra topping was ordered for $3.90. Fried rice that came in a mass tin, what a good way to plate this old, traditional dish which I guess was meant for the masses in the past when Korea wasn’t as wealthy as she is today.

IMG_7238The complementary steamed egg – So fluffy within, made even more appealing with that bubbling froth on top, this pot of lightly buttered steamed egg is definitely comforting to the soul. $4.90 if the set isn’t ordered.

IMG_7239Tofu Stew 순두부찌개 – Generous servings of huge, smooth tofu served in the spicy broth. The tofu was good but the broth was somehow not my favourite as it was lacking in sweetness. $9.90.

IMG_7242Ginseng Chicken Soup Sam gyetang 삼계탕 – A huge pot of comforting ginseng chicken soup. Not exactly thick and rich, the soup though, felt adequately flavoured and permeated throughout with the chicken essence. A delicious healthy bowl which we could indulge in without having to worry of any artificial flavourings. And man, those bones literally melt in your mouth that there was nothing left at the end. $19.90.

IMG_7259Huge Seafood pancake 해물파전 – Cooked in a pan, this large and thick pancake tasted doughy and perhaps needed more flavour to it. The dip at the side though, saved the dish by rendering it a savoury slant. We would prefer the pancake to be less charred. $21.90.

IMG_7262Time for desserts and Bingsu they were. Not expecting such good quality ones at all as I have been dismayed terribly at my virgin experience at Nunsongyee. I actually felt that Bingsu is quite a piece of terribly priced dessert. Not saying that it is cheap here, this small Yoghurt Bingsu 요거트 빙수 has the exact coveted creaminess and every flake melted to give a llao llao or milk and honey experience. $8.90.

IMG_7263Drizzle over this Injeolmi Bingsu 인절미 빙수 with that condensed milk by the side, it further accentuates the nutty body that the smooth pulverised nuts rendered. What sets this greatly apart from Nunsongyee is the evenly flavoured shaved ice that most importantly tasted sweet even when not coated with the condensed milk. $9.90.

IMG_7267Our final bingsu for the day that came down hard on our taste buds. Mango and cheesecake Bingsu 망고치즈 빙수 – Topped with a creamy ball of vanilla ice cream, made even heavier and milkier with that thick cheesecake, this will suit greatly the super sweet toothed. $12.90.

Chi Bing has definitely surprised me in many ways. A very large menu for such a humble restaurant that I believe only has a small kitchen, they are still yet able to uphold the consistency of almost every dish we ordered. This, we felt is worth saluting at. Dan-Gyeol. 단결!

Verdict: A good restaurant. 3.8/5

House – A revamped menu!

House

8D Dempsey Road

My third or fourth time to House for the revamped menu, and I am pretty sure of their creed now – to serve up hearty, whomesome food that is comforting to the soul, with the use of heavier tasting ingredients and sauces. It may sound like a meat heaven and a vegetarian hell but is actually just as exciting for vegetarians, as could be seen from this beautiful plate of Rigatoni.

IMG_7100Baked Pumpkin and Goat’s cheese Rigatoni – Sauteed with the luscious sweet pumpkin with fresh sage leaves, made fuller with goat’s cheese and almond amearetti. $23.

IMG_7103Not the dainty type of vegetarian? And hope to have a bigger heartier meal, then the Portobello Schnitzel Bun could be the one. This huge dense portobello with a meaty taste and mouth-feel, is nicely breaded for that delicious crust and slathered with spicy mayo, made even heavier tasting with the provolone cheese, all contained in that healthy Arugula bun. Yes, and there we go, sweet potato chips by the side. $28.

IMG_7101Broccoli, Quinoa and Pom Pom salad – Super leaves, nuts and sprouts, tossed with Quinoa, broccoli and coriander and that thick refreshing pomegranate raita sauce gave the dish a fuller body. $18.

IMG_7096Baked Scallops on Shell – Seared Hokkaido Scallops, spiced with Mediterranean eggplant zaalouk, topped with Spanish Crumbs. $24.

IMG_7105Bacon & Egg in a Naan Jam –  Candied bacon topped with a super runny sunny side up (my yolk came out orangy red, how nourished could that be), paired with the spicy tomato jam and cream cheese. Very high calorie dish but that creamy New Zealand yolk sealed the deal for me. $22.

IMG_7099Bone Marrow and Steak burger with Bacon Jam – A plump slab of steak patty, made even crazier with bone marrow between the brioche buns that are further topped with onion rings and provolone cheese. $29. With so many heavy tasting ingredients utilised, the overall taste is indeed quite vivid.

IMG_7111IMG_7106Stinky meets Crispy Chicken Waffle – Har Cheong Gai sitting on that rich rice flour waffles that is given a witty spicy punch with that innovative sambal maple syrup. It might be the most Asian savoury waffles that I’ve seen and that combination works. Meant to be consumed warm though as the waffle turns harder when it’s left to rest for too long. $24.

The newly revamped House menu, as yet again!

 

 

Bird Bird – Very strong character in its interior decor, but skeptical of the lunch we had

Bird Bird

18 Ann Siang Road near Telok Ayer MRT

IMG_6981Ghetto styled, yet still retaining its hipsterish look, this is definitely one of the eateries that has scored perfect in its intended interior decor. Very strong in its character, Bird Bird has definitely caught my eyes to pay a visit to, especially when pictures of their luscious luncheon burgers and modern edgy popsicles are splashed all over the net. Seated at the counter seats with a widely spaced crowd, K and I liked the fact that we had our personal space, especially so in today’s increasingly claustrophobic cafes / eateries, but the luncheon there, we left feeling slightly bewildered and skeptical of.

IMG_6983Sides – Sweet potato fries + Unicorn Jizz. Well the menu here, as could be seen already, doesn’t make any sense so we had to clarify what unicorn jizz is before getting it. Truffle-infused mayo slathered generously on top of the partially crispy, partially soggy sweet potato fries, at $2 more for the mayo I reckon the normal sweet potato fries could have been ordered instead. $8.

IMG_6986Tuffled Chickenator. A plump juicy chicken patty that definitely would resonate easily with your childhood, as it tastes almost exactly like the Chicken Mcnuggets that you get from MacDonalds. The disappointment came when we saw the buns burnt to a carcinogenic carbon. Affecting the taste of the entire burger greatly, K has to scrap out the charred portions. $11.

IMG_6988IMG_6989Duckinator – Grilled duck patty, green papaya, som tum sauce. I was looking forward to an exciting flavour from this rendition when I saw its description and would have imagined the sour, spicy yet lightly sweet song tum sauce to cut through the heavy patty beautifully, giving it a refreshing, zesty touch. Instead, the song tum sauce was critically missing from this supposedly exciting burger, giving it that flat monotonous taste. $14.

IMG_6994IMG_6990The desserts saved the lunch a little though as we got the modern, creative popsicles – Strawberry cheesecake and the Matcha ice cream. $8 each. Very thick, creamy they are which definitely do not come cheap. I think I could have bought a box of 4 magnum with this price in the UK.

IMG_6995This super thick, intense matcha popsicle was so strong that I could literally taste the chlorophyll in it, if you have bitten through a matcha leaf, that’s the sensation you would get.

IMG_6996And the cheesecake one was so thick and creamy, cut through sharply by the sour berries.

Indeed, the popsicles fared better than the mains we reckon. Striving for a strong and heavy tasting menu, we felt that Bird Bird has quite a bit of catch up to do, especially the savouries. It was a pity though as the idea was there; the description of the flavours apparently have been thoughtfully paired but the lacklustre execution unfortunately killed it.

Verdict: An above average restaurant. 3.0/5.